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Bonsai Tree Basics

I for one, am enthralled by bonsai trees, as shown in Figure 1. They require an enormous amount of care, on a daily basis, but I find them to be one of the most beautiful plants one can have. Bonsai trees have been known to live for over 40 years.

bonsai tree

Figure 1 - Bonsai tree

Bonsai is a Japanese gardening art form that has been passed down for centuries. Translated as potted tree, bonsai trees are the attempt to represent larger natural tree forms in a small scale. To achieve this effect, growers employ careful potting and care techniques as well as skilled pruning.

Choosing Plants:

Traditionally, outdoor plants are used for bonsai, but you can bonsai just about anything with the right characteristics, preferably something woody enough to be trained. Species like Schefflera and Jade Shogun and the Zen Reflections Juniper Bonsai prefer more sun. To keep things simple, you get pre-trained plants, or if you're feeling adventurous, you can start your own.

Care:

Depending on your specific plants and growing styles, caring for your bonsai can be simple or demand gardening precision. No matter what, you will need to pay careful attention to your plants' food, water and container needs that's in addition to any artistic shaping you plan to do. The quickest way to kill your bonsai is lack of water - because many bonsai plants are in small containers, their soil can dry out quickly, so be sure to check on your plants often.

There are hundreds of books that will help you to start your Bonsai trees and plants